By Matters India Reporter
Madurai, June 12, 2019: A hospital in southern India organized a month-long pan-India car rally to create awareness about child cancer.
Four staffers of Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (MMHRC) in Madurai took a month off from work and covered 30 cities across 15 states. They also spread the message that more than 80 percent of child patients are curable if given proper treatment.
MMHRC chairman Doctor S Gurushankar flagged off the rally on April 27. The team traveled from Madurai to Leh and back covering a distance of 10,000 km. It was the first-of-its-kind mass connect initiative for child cancer in India, the organizers claimed.
The champions of child cancer drove through cities such as Madurai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Gwalior, Agra, Bareilly, Nainital, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Shimla, Manali, Pathankot, Jammu, Pulwama, Srinagar, Sonamarg, Kargil, Leh, Pangong, Nubra Valley, Amritsar, Jaipur, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Pune, Hubli and Salem.
Speaking about the unique initiative, J Adel of MMHRC said on June 10 that more than 300,000 children are affected by cancer every year in the world.
“Parents are devastated the moment they hear that their child has cancer, but not many of them know that more than 80 percent patients of childhood cancer can be totally cured if detected in time. That is why creating awareness about this disease among the masses is very important,” he said.
Adel said their department dedicated for child cancer has treated thousands of patients successfully. “With this month-long car rally covering 30 cities in as many days from South to North India, we wanted to spread the message of curability of childhood cancer and help reduce its incidence in the country,” he added.
Doctors say that cancers that develop in children are different from those that develop in adults. The main cause of these is not lifestyle or environmental factors, but the DNA changes in cells that take place very early in a child’s life.
The Madurai hospital has so far treated more than 1,200 child patients of cancer free of cost.